Be the Story TV Producers are Hungry For
Today I want to introduce you to somebody who has actually been in a “vomit comet”. They are the simulators that allow you to simulate weightlessness aboard an aircraft and feel what astronauts actually experience in space. John Getter is a licensed pilot and has flown the space shuttle simulator and has more than 3 hours of weightlessness aboard a special NASA aircraft (the vomit comet). He is a former broadcast journalist whose broadcasts have been carried in 135 countries, and he supervised projects that flew in space. He does insights and stories from working with hundreds of explorers including all who walked on the moon or commanded a space shuttle. He’s a professional speaker and he produces news coverage for major broadcast and cable networks including Good Morning America. He consults with major corporations industry and political leaders on effective communication skills, media understanding and of course storytelling.
Today Show and Good Morning America: Both of the programs aim at primarily a female audience but GMA more so. The first 15 to 30 minutes is hard news and the rest is interesting, fun features. The Today Show is more news oriented and is a more serious program. When John does the news he wants stories that people will talk about the next day.
Pizza Convention: There was a pizza convention in Las Vegas, where John lives. A booker from Good Morning America called him and asked him to go to the convention and find an interesting person they could fly out and have on the show. When he went, he found it was so huge and so full of interesting characters they decided instead to send a film crew out there. They ended up doing a video segment of the convention and flying a guy out to New York to demonstrate with the GMA hosts how to spin the pizza dough etc.
Getting on one of the programs: John’s story is that he worked in the space program a long time and did a lot of reporting on space travel. He lived in Washington D.C at the time the Columbia Space Shuttle was lost. Fox News was scrambling like everyone else to come up with people to talk about what might have happened, what did happen, etc. John introduced himself to them and they asked him to come on the program immediately. He had something of value to give them.
Value: When you give the audience something of value you give them something that entertains, educates, informs, makes them laugh, makes them feel smarter and is something they’re going to want to bring up at the dinner table or a cocktail party. It gives them something interesting to make them more interesting.
Why now? John’s story is a perfect example of something that Geeta drives home which is that it answers the question “why now?”. Geeta has a YouTube video on this on the Baby Got Booked YouTube channel where she will walk you through how to answer this question and what it means the way a producer asks it.
How to get your foot in the door: Be clear, succinct, focused on what the audience is going to get and try to do some research beforehand as to whether or not you should be talking to someone like John or someone else. It really doesn’t make his day when the phone rings at 5:30 AM Pacific Time and it’s someone in New York trying to pitch him something. Don’t pitch too much and too often.
If you’re interested in learning how to write a bio in 10 minutes or less, check out babygotbookedlab.com
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